Information note for National Human Rights Institutions
54th Session of the Human Rights Council, 11 September – 13 October 2023
Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
Documentation for the Session
Broadcasting the Session
Media and outreach tools
The meetings of the Council are broadcast live via UN webcast.
Updates during the session are also shared through the HRC Alert: SMS service (free subscription through the Extranet for mobiles registered in Switzerland only), Sched and Twitter (@UN_HRC & #HRC54)
Sched will be available on the session’s webpage.
NHRIs with “A” status accreditation, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI – formerly known as the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights) and regional coordinating bodies of NHRIs (speaking on behalf of its “A” status members) can:
- participate in person or through pre-recorded video messages in the HRC plenary debates, including during the adoption of the outcome of the UPR of the country by the Council, the interactive dialogue following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedures mandate holder and panels or annual discussions;
- submit documents, which will be issued with an UN document symbol;
NOTE: According to paragraph 28 of Human Rights Council resolution 16/21 on the Review of the work and functioning of the Human Rights Council, the “A” status NHRI of the country concerned shall be entitled to intervene immediately after the country concerned during the interactive dialogue, following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedure mandate holder and also immediately after the State under review at the adoption of the UPR report in plenary. Resolution 16/21 also grants “A” status NHRIs the right to nominate candidates as special procedures mandate holders (paragraph 22(a)).
Technical Specifications for DOCUMENTATION and WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS
Documentation and Written Statements should be uploaded by the submitting National Human Rights Institutions according to UN documentation rules on the following link: https://nhrireg.ohchr.org/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2FWrittenStatementRegistration
In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, “A” status NHRIs are entitled to submit documentation at Council sessions. NHRIs may submit reports, policy papers, etc.
- should relate to a particular HRC agenda item;
- will receive an official UN document symbol (e.g. A/HRC/../NI/...);
- will not be edited;
- will not be translated (should therefore be in Arabic, English, French or Spanish); and
- should not exceed a reasonable number of pages (i.e. 20-30 pages maximum).
The deadline for submitting documents for the 54th session of the Human Rights Council is 1 September 2023.
“A” status NHRIs may submit written statements to the Human Rights Council. Statements should be no longer than 2,000 words and should be relevant to the Council's Programme of Work of the 54th session. Please refer to the Guidelines available on the HRC’s webpage for more information on the written statements.
Please find below the link to submit written statements: https://nhrireg.ohchr.org/WrittenStatementRegistration/Home .
Please kindly note that the deadline for uploading of written statements for the 54th session of the Human Rights Council is 1 September 2023. The Secretariat will not be able to ensure the timely processing and circulation of statements submitted after the deadline.
Accreditation to attend the Session
Accreditation of NHRIs shall be given to:
- institutions which are accredited by GANHRI;
- the GANHRI as the representative body of NHRIs globally; and
- regional coordinating committees of NHRIs, speaking on behalf of “A” status institutions, in line with the strict criteria agreed upon by the GANHRI at its 19th annual general meeting in March 2007.
NHRIs that wish to accredit representatives to the 54th session of the Human Rights Council should:
- register online on the following link: https://indico.un.org/event/1001835/registrations/12219
- Upload the request on official letter head on the online platform (clearly state the title and the dates of the session the NHRI wishes to attend, e.g. “[Insert name of NHRI] wishes to send the following members to attend the [insert relevant session number] session of the Human Rights Council ([insert dates of session])…”; be signed by the President or main representative of the NHRI; indicate the first name and family name of the person(s) who will represent the NHRI at the Council session (NB: names must appear exactly as they appear on the person’s ID document and family names must be capitalized).
Each member of a national institution delegation has to be individually registered online.
"A" status NHRIs, the GANHRI and regional coordinating bodies of NHRIs speaking on behalf of “A” status accredited members, may present oral interventions to the Human Rights Council.
NHRIs wishing to make an oral intervention are required:
- to send a request to the GANHRI Geneva Representative, Ms. Katharina Rose ([email protected]). A pre-inscription form (see Annex I) is available for this purpose.
- upload the transcript of the oral statement on the HRC’s webpage dedicated to NHRIs participation as follow: https://nhrireg.ohchr.org/DebateRegistration
Please note that the same platform is used for the submission of written statements: https://nhrireg.ohchr.org/
All persons addressing the Council as “A” status NHRIs or the GANHRI must be accredited as representing such institutions (see procedure above in paragraph 7). Accredited NHRIs or the GANHRI may have other NHRIs associate with their statements. In such a case, the statement should clearly identify the institutions on whose behalf the statement is presented.
Regional coordinating committees may present an oral statement, provided that they only speak on behalf of their member NHRIs that are in full conformity with the Paris Principles, evidenced by an “A” status accreditation with the GANHRI. At the beginning of the statement, the regional coordinating committee must state the names of the NHRIs on whose behalf they speak.
"A" status NHRIs, the GANHRI, and regional coordinating bodies of NHRIs, speaking on behalf of "A" status accredited members, will address the Human Rights Council via pre-recorded video statements or in person. NHRIs shall exceptionally refer to the modalities of submission of pre-recorded video statements (paragraph 11 of this Information Note).
Speaking time for oral intervention and pre-recorded video statements
SPEAKING TIME MODALITIES HRC54 NHRIs/NGOs
|Type of discussion||Speaking time per intervention||Time allocated per debate|
|Interactive dialogues||1 minute and 30 seconds*||15 minutes in total|
|Panel discussions||2 minutes||Two speaking slots
1 NHRIs and 2 NGOs each slot
|UPR outcomes||2 minutes||2 minutes|
* “A” status NHRI of the country concerned shall be entitled to intervene immediately after the country concerned during the interactive dialogue, following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedure mandate holder and also immediately after the State under review at the adoption of the UPR report in plenary. An NHRI intervening immediately after the country concerned during presentation of country mission report by special procedure mandate holder can speak for 3 minutes instead of 1 minute and 30 seconds. The time allocation during the adoption of the UPR report in plenary is 2 minutes.
NHRI Parallel Events
NHRIs accredited for the 54th session of the Council may organize parallel events of relevance to the work of the Human Rights Council, subject to availability of conference rooms. The relevant forms for booking conference rooms and annexed guidelines on how to fill out the forms are available on the webpage of the Human Rights Council's 54th session at https://www.ohchr.org/en/hr-bodies/hrc/room-reservation
Room reservation requests for intergovernmental consultations and events organized by specialized agencies, NHRIs and special procedures mandate-holders should be made by filling the form (See Annex II). The form should be submitted by fax or as a scanned attachment to an email to the Human Rights Council Secretariat, details provided below.
Attention of: Laura Giardini
Tel: +41 (0)22 917 9255 Fax: +41 (0)22 917 9011
[email protected] with copy to: [email protected]
Subject reference: NHRI Room booking request.
Given the reduced number of rooms allocated compared to the pre-COVID-19, the Secretariat may not be able to accommodate all requests. Slots will therefore be allocated according to availability and on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to accommodate as many requests as possible, only one side event per requesting organizer would be accommodated and each side event will be for one hour only. Organizers are requested to respect allotted time strictly and leave the room in time in order to ensure the smooth organization of the following side event.
Conference room booking requests will be received by the Secretariat as of now. Please be advised that the Secretariat does not provide interpretation for parallel meetings. NHRIs should therefore provide their own interpreters, if they so wish, and inform the Secretariat accordingly ahead of time.
Participants requiring a badge to attend exclusively side events (and not the main session) will need to register at the ad-hoc page, here: https://indico.un.org/event/1007181/
At its 19th session, the Human Rights Council adopted a decision1 to endorse the report of the Task Force, including its recommendations, on secretariat services, accessibility for persons with disabilities and use of information technology.
NOTE: This decision gives the opportunity to NHRIs with “A” status GANHRI accreditation to participate in the Human Rights Council sessions through pre-recorded video messages in one of the six official languages of the United Nations, to be delivered to enhance their participation in the plenary debate under any Human Rights Council agenda item. Only the Head, Secretary General or their designated representative in possession of a written authorization may be entitled to deliver a video message.
The credentials of the NHRIs and the identity of individuals delivering the video message will be duly verified by OHCHR.
For all interventions through video messages a letter of request will have to be addressed to the National Institutions, Regional Mechanisms and Civil Society Section and comply with the below requirements:
- Letter submitted on official letterhead and signed by the head of the NHRI or the Secretary General;
- Indication of the HRC session concerned, agenda item and specific segment of the programme of work in which the oral statement through video-messaging will be made;
- Indication of the full name (FAMILY NAME, First name) and functional title of the person who will deliver the statement (name of the person must appear exactly as it appears in his/her passport or formal identity document) as a designated representative;
- Colour copy of the person’s passport or of formal identity document.
Rules regarding the content and technical specifications
Statements delivered by video message are subject to the same rules as oral statements delivered in person. The video messages are subject to the same time limits as, and should mirror as closely as possible, the oral statements delivered in person. In particular, the following rules must be strictly observed:
- The video statement must consist of a single shot of one individual delivering a statement, seated against a neutral, monochrome background;
- The camera should be focused on the person’s face, and should not move during the shot;
- No symbols, flags, banners or other images are permitted in the shot, either in the background or on the clothing of the person delivering the statement.
The video statement must include captioning. NHRIs are encouraged to consider including international sign language, to enhance participation of persons with disabilities. A transcript of the video statement must also be submitted in order to facilitate interpretation. In the absence of captioning and transcript, the video statement will not be admissible.
The transcript must be uploaded onto the Debate Registration platform. (cf. paragraph on Oral statements)
The minimum technical specifications for the video are as follows:
- video resolution min 640x480 max 1024x768, frame rate 30 fps
- audio resolution 44100 Hz, 16 bits, stereo
- video encoding WMV3 (Windows Media Video 9)
- audio encoding WMA2 (Windows Media Audio 2)
- video encoding H.274
- audio encoding MP3 or AAC
Delivery of the video statement
The video statement will be projected in the room under the same conditions as an oral statement delivered in the room.
The rules of procedure and practices of the Council apply in the same manner to video statements as to all other statements.
NHRIs wishing to participate in the Human Rights Council session through video messaging need to send a request to Ms. Cynthia Radert ([email protected]); Faizah Sidi ([email protected]); and and Heidy Mercedes Brizuela Morales([email protected])
Contacts - OHCHR
For further information, please contact the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section (NIRMS) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Mr. Vladlen Stefanov
Chief, National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
Tel: + 41 (0) 22 928 9377
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 928 9018
Ms. Cynthia Radert
Human Rights Officer, , National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
Ms. María Navarro Blanco
Associate Human Rights Officer, National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
Ms. Faizah Sidi
National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
Ms Heidy Mercedes Brizuela Morales
National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
1. A/HRC/DEC/19/119 (recommendation 47): “In the case of national human rights institutions compliant with the Paris Principles:
(a) Video messages may be pre-recorded in order to enhance participation in the plenary debates of the Human Rights Council, in particular in accordance with the provisions described in the annex to Council resolution 16/21, paragraph 13 (national human rights institution of the State under review) and paragraph 28 (national human rights institution of the State concerned)”.